China’s regulators try to engineer a stockmarket rally

CALLING THE bottom after share prices plunge is a crapshoot. Though investors parse trading charts, bond yields and commodity prices for clues, timing the market remains more a matter of luck than skill. But in China the signal is, at least in the short term, a lot clearer: just wait for the government to barge […]

America’s stockmarket passes a milestone

ON AUGUST 22nd America’s bull market in equities turned 3,453 days old. Since hitting a low of 666 in March 2009, the S&P 500 index has increased more than fourfold, driven by strong corporate profits, low inflation, stable economic growth and a boatload of central-bank stimulus. Despite five corrections of at least 10%, the index […]

Even stockmarket bulls are more cautious than at the start of the year

BEARS sound clever; bulls make money. This piece of financial acumen, imparted by a trader to a colleague, is hard to beat for brevity. It also makes a good point. There is something about market pessimism that endows bears with an aura of wisdom that is not always deserved. The cautious sound clever because they […]

Most stockmarket returns come from a tiny fraction of shares

IN his book about the use of language, “The King’s English”, Kingsley Amis describes a tug-of-war. On one side are “berks”, careless and coarse, who would destroy the language by polluting it. On the other side are priggish “wankers”, who would destroy it by sterilisation. The battle lines look similar in investment. The divide is […]